Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Cubicle King: Thoughts on the Merkaz Harav Shloshim

The following is a moving guest post by the Cubicle King.
Thoughts on the Shloshim of the 8 Mercaz Harav Kedoshim
I needed to take some time out from my busy schedule to write a few words on the shloshim (30-day mark) of the Mercaz Harav massacre. I have been going over in my mind why this event affected me so much and I keep coming back to the same conclusion. You see, to me, Mercaz Harav represented the finest in the Torah World. They were able to toe the line between limud Torah and service to Eretz Yisroel greater than anyone else. Instead of castigating the state as a "Treif Medina", they decided to embrace it and Mikadesh [sanctify] it.

This is so profound to me. The army was too much of a spiritual challenge so they fostered a movement that eventually led to the creation of Hesder units at other Yeshivot. Instead of just making it forbidden, they changed it so that it could be permissible. They did not shirk their responsibility in defending the land. They went out of their way to make that responsibility a religious obligation.

The students at Mercaz Harav Kook not only were the top soldiers on the front lines of the battlefield they also were the top Bochrim on the front lines of the Beis Medrash. We are still hearing stories of these beautiful neshomos who were learning in the library at the time of the attack, in order so they could maximize the utmost amount of time for their limud Torah.

Rabbi Gottlieb (of Shomrei Emunah in Baltimore) said something so profound Thursday night about the blood that was spilled on those sifrei Kedusha. It takes the blood of those bochrim to wash over us so that we don't divide ourselves over our petty differences. That unfortunately it took those pools of spilled blood to wash over us and bring us all together.

I think this is one lesson I can take away from this horrific incident. We need not look at the insignificant things which make us different, but the blood that runs through our veins that makes us all one and the same. It is in this holiday of Pesach when we celebrate Zman Charusaynu, when we celebrate our exodus from Egypt. Let us remember that when Am Yisroel crossed the red sea they did not cross it based on their head covering, or where they went to Yeshiva. They crossed as one Nation pressing forward to a brighter future.

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